Friday, July 31, 2009

What the Excerpt?!?!?!

I started thinking about why I put excerpts of Illusions on my blog.

It is intimidating to put your writing out for everyone to mock read. I've worked hard on my baby of a novel and sending it out of the nest, into the world, is difficult.

But it has been beneficial.

First, it has made me (usually) read those few sentences very carefully to see if I want to add or remove anything. I know that my work is going to be judged by just that, and nothing more. So each sentence needs to add punch. Sometimes I get the knock-out. Sometimes I hit, well, like a seven-year-old girl.

Secondly, it helps build up my tolerance for negative response (though my commentors have been very positive). I know that if when Illusions is published I will have to deal with the good, the bad, and the outright rude feedback. I guess it is better to start building up the thick skin now.

So that is why I do it even though it is scary nervewracking blood-boilingly terrifying. After all - no risk, no gain. Urgh...or so I've been told.

Why do you put your WIP out there? What benefits have you found from sharing it?

9 comments:

Jody Hedlund said...

Hi Joyce,
No I haven't put my work on my blog yet, but I really admire those who do! I like your reasons for doing it. We'll eventually have to develop thick skin, so why not start now!

Jannette Johnson said...

I haven't posted any excerpts of my novels, but I do post my shorts in certain online forums. And I love all the feedback, I can't get enough of it good and bad.

The good is nice, but I need to know the parts that aren't good, to fix them and make the story even better.

Lady Glamis said...

Sharing my work has been very difficult, but I've learned a lot from the experience. I haven't shared many excerpts on my blog, and most of them I delete after a few months, but it's been good for me. I don't share my work nearly as much now for lots of reasons. But I say keep giving us those excerpts! I'm certainly interested in your book... a lot!

Suzanne said...

H1! I don't put much work there. For a lot of reasons. I use my blog to hone my writing so that my WIP's or revisions can be stronger. Also, I think there is a danger in terms of publishing online what you want to publish mainstream. (NOT in your case as you do the mini excerpts.)


I did recently put an excerpt on Cindy's blog, and it was SCARY! I don't know if I will do it again. Kudos to you for sharing.

S

Liana Brooks said...

I put my work out on a critique group that is password protected and private. I won't put much up on my blog because of first publishing right issues.

But I think it's good to get another set of eyes on any work. even if the response is negative. It's good to know one way or the other if a scene works.

Cindy said...

I've only put a few excerpts on my blog and it's been fun. I just started letting others read my work through a critique group and that was very hard. It has definitely made me a better writer and more conscious of what I'm putting onto paper, though. If it helps to improve my writing, I'm all for it!

P.S. I hope you do it again, Suzanne! Your excerpt was great!

Jamie D. said...

I don't post many excerpts of WIP's I plan to submit...I have posted them on Cindy's page, but I'm careful not to post too much. Just due to the publishing concerns later on.

But I post my serial novel (in first draft form, no less) for lots of reasons. One of them is that if I'm a profoundly bad writer, I want to know *now*. If I were bad, people would avoid my blog. I'd have no followers, no repeat visits. So it gives me confidence that even though I post 1st draft material, people still want to read it. That's motivating for me.

I like the kudos, of course - but I appreciate the critiques and comments too. I can tell where my writing is predictable or shocking depending on the comments, which is helpful to me.

And of course it takes some of the "fear factor" right out of submitting. If I can let people see my 1st draft work, submitting edited work is just that much easier, because I know it's better than what I've already given "the world".

Michelle McLean said...

I've only put excerpts of my stuff maybe twice on my blog. I do agree though, thick skin is a definite must in this business....I built mine through all those lovely agent rejections and red ink soaked manuscripts :D

Stephanie said...

I haven't shared any excerpts on my blog yet...maybe someday. But I've gotten tons of feedback from critique group members and friends. I thoroughly enjoy it....now. It was tough at first. But I need to know what is confusing to a reader who doesn't have the entire story and background of every character in their head. It's very beneficial.